With temperatures soaring five degrees above normal this time of the year and touching 38.4 degree Celsius on Monday, India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said it looked like a very hot summer was in store for Mumbaikars. The IMD in Mumbai has predicted that on Tuesday, the city’s temperature will improve marginally to a maximum and minimum of 37 and 22 degrees Celsius, respectively.
According to the IMD, 2016 was the hottest year for the country since 1901.
A recent study conducted for Heat Index, mainly in urban India, placed Mumbai in the “very hot” category. Official data show that temperatures are currently 5.1 degree Celsius higher than normal in the city and the difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures is nearly 15 degree Celsius.
On Monday, IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded a minimum and maximum of 21.5 and 38.4 degree Celsius, respectively. The Colaba observatory recorded a minimum of 25.2 degree Celsius and a maximum of 33.4 degree Celsius. The humidity levels in the suburbs of the city was 37%, while the island city recorded 67 per cent humidity.
“Earlier, it was the easterly winds that were strong and their components are countering the sea breeze to keep the temperatures high. But now, the winds are from the west and is raising the temperatures here in Mumbai and in the region,” said V K Rajeev, director, western region, IMD.
Met officials said the north-westerly winds coming from Rajasthan and Gujarat are warm and dry. Rajeev added that similar conditions will prevail for the coming week as well.
Earlier this year, the Met department had predicted that it will be a hotter-than-usual summer till June. In its summer outlook this year, the IMD had said that the temperatures — minimum, maximum as well as the mean — are likely to be “above normal” till June in every meteorological subdivision of the country.
Northwest India and the plains near the Himalayas are likely to face a particularly warmer summer this year and the temperature might be more than 1degree Celsius above normal, IMD sources said.
At 43 degree Celsius, Maharashtra’s Bhira area is currently the hottest in the country.